Former N.J. Gov. Chris Christie took shots at his successor, deconstructed President Donald Trump, and made predictions for the midterms during his first major public appearance since leaving office in January.
The plain-speaking Republican began by rattling off what he considered his major achievements in office, such as funding the state pension system, improving Atlantic City’s finances with a state takeover, and signing legislation that led to a wave of tax breaks for companies that create or relocate jobs in the state.
Meanwhile, he blasted current Gov. Phil Murphy, whom Christie claimed put too much blame at the feet of the previous administration.
“By the way, I’ve not spoken about my successor for nine months,” Christie said. “My successor can’t stop talking about me. Other than [Murphy’s wife] Tammy, I’m the second most popular name that comes out of his mouth.”
Christie made his remarks during an event at Rowan University in Glassboro.
National politics also came up, with Christie offering a critique of his friend and former political rival, President Trump.
Christie said he wished the president would tweet less, and he suggested that the best Democratic challenger in 2020 would be someone from outside Washington, D.C., who doesn’t try to verbally spar with Trump in debates — a style Christie said Trump has perfected.
“He’s, like, this force from Queens that knows how to do this better than anybody I’ve ever seen,” Christie said said.
When prompted by moderator Ben Dworkin, head of the Rowan Institute for Public Policy & Citizenship, Christie claimed he was offered, but turned down, two cabinet posts — Secretary of Labor and Secretary of Homeland Security — but he was never offered the one job he would have taken: vice president.
Concerning the midterm elections, Christie predicted that Republican U.S. Reps. Tom MacArthur and Leonard Lance would hold onto their seats, while claiming that the contest between Democrat Mikie Sherrill and Republican Jay Webber in the 11th District, where Christie lives, was too close to call.